Thursday, November 14, 2013

Utopias & Dysotpias: Looking to the Past

Film 1: Bendito Machine III [6:35] Watch on YouTube
Technological development in terms of ritual & worship - the characters in the film treat each new technology as god-like, appearing from the sky and causing the immediate substitution of the technology before it. 
What is this film suggesting are the ecological and social implications of an obsession or fixation on technology? 

Ecological - tech as disposable, creating waste. Social - captures attention, influences behavior, changes actions; starts to dominate, scare and threaten
Malfunction/replacement of each technology takes people with them
Do the film’s characters have any choice in relation to their technologies? 
given to them from up on high, no choice, but yet they keep coming back for more looking for the next improvement
What are the characteristics of various technologies as portrayed in this film?
harmful, destruction, infringe and overpower
In this film the technology controls the society and not the other way around. People are mesmerized, in awe and yet fearful, but willingly continue to look to the technology god for more

Film 2: Inbox [8:37] Watch on YouTube
A quirky representation of the ways in which web-based technology connects people, the limitations of these connections, and the nature of communication in a mediated world. Utopian or dystopian account?
Utopian in the sense that it is a creative quirky look at how technology can bring people together. Dystopian because people need technology to mediate their social relations, utopian in that it helps shy, introverts find social connections though its not clear at the end of this film whether they will actually be able to get beyond the looking awkwardly at each other :0)

Film 3: Thursday (7:34) Watch on YouTube
Depicts a tension between a natural world and a technological one, with humans caught between the two. What message in the film presenting about technology? Noisy - cleaning machine, alarm, computer,
noises emulate birdsong or vice versa?
What losses and gains are described?people lost without technology, disturbed by sunlight, amazing view in space
 Who or what has agency in this film? the birds

Film 4: New Media (2:21) Watch on Vimeo
A grim representation of the effects of technology on humanity. There are definite visual echoes of 'Bendito Maching III' here. What similarities or differences can you identify?
Dark dystopic, technology is intrusive, creates waste and pollution

Finally, there are many utopian and dystopian stories about technology told in popular films. Can you think of an example and describe or share is in the discussion board, on your blog, or on Twitter?

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